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American Academy of Arts & Sciences Selects Eight Visiting Scholars in Humanities and Social Sciences


Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, MA | October 26, 2015 — The evolution of the Computer Age, Pan-American
feminism’s influence on international women’s rights, and the dinosaur as a 20th-century symbol of American economic power and prosperity are among the topics being examined by the 2015-16 class of Visiting Scholars of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The eight members of the newest class of Visiting Scholars at the American Academy were selected from an applicant pool of nearly 300 candidates. The program provides these eight scholars in American history, literature, and the social sciences with an academic year-in-residence for writing and the completion of article and book manuscripts. Housed at the headquarters of the Academy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Visiting Scholars participate in Academy-sponsored conferences, seminars, and informal gatherings while advancing their scholarly research. The Academy provides office space and computer services as well as library privileges in cooperation with the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. Information about previous classes, along with additional program details, can be found here.

The 2015-16 Visiting Scholars will dedicate their inquiries and expertise to the following studies:
  • Leslie E. Beldo, Jr.: Makah Whaling: An Ethnography of Conflict
  • Merve Emre: Paraliterary Institutions
  • Rachel Guberman: The Real Silent Majority: Denver and the Realignment of American Politics after the Sixties
  • Katherine Marie Marino: La Vanguardia Feminista: Pan-American Feminism and the Rise of International Women’s Rights, 1915–1946
  • Emily Owens: Fantasies of Consent: Black Women’s Sexual Labor in 19th-Century New Orleans
  • Joy Lisi Rankin: Becoming Digital: How 1960s Users Created the Computing Age
  • Lukas Rieppel: Assembling the Dinosaur: Science, Museums, and American Capitalism, 1870–1930
  • Rachel Wise: Losing Appalachia: Literature, Material Culture, and the Fate of Regional Writing
“Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has convened scholars and leaders from across disciplines and professions to conduct scholarly research and civil discourse to benefit the common good,” explains American Academy President Jonathan F. Fanton. “I am pleased to welcome these young scholars to be part of this tradition,” Dr. Fanton added.

The accomplishments of former Visiting Scholars have been recognized by a variety of academic and professional organizations. Most recently, for example, Senior Lecturer at Harvard University Jonathan Hansen received a Public Scholar Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Guidelines and application forms for the 2016-17 Visiting Scholars Program are available on the Academy’s website at

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. In its work, the Academy focuses on higher education, the humanities, and the arts; science and technology policy; global security and energy; and American institutions and the public good. Current Academy research has resulted in reports like The Heart of the Matter—cited by members of Congress in requesting that the Academy undertake a new study of language learning—and Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream. The Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,600 elected fellows and 600 foreign honorary members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.



Dave Nuscher
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Chief Communications Officer
Twitter: @americanacad


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